People Be Hatin’ : Female “Circumcision”

Oh joyous day! I’ve become controversial (read: vaguely informative? idiotic? doubting my four years in University…)enough for haters!
It is okay, hater, I have been raised and breast-fed by the internets, your negative snark runs deep in my blood; my life force.

I love WordPress for it’s ability to let me censor the comments, but I did not want to ‘approve’ this one without sharing:

female circumcision ≠ female “mutilation” ≠ rape.
maybe do your homework before equating cultural practices with rape…

But this anonymous commenter has a valid point here, and I would like to make clear, as I seem to have blurred a few things together here in talking of the dear ol’ clitoris that should definitely not be blurred together.
Female mutilation is NOT female circumcision – in the vague manner in which I was speaking anyway. I referred to a procedure which is actually called: “Clitoral Hood Reduction” as “like a female circumcision”. Also: neither female ‘mutilation’ or female ‘circumcision’ is rape… for those of you who may have been confused.

It is a personal association I make that female mutilation and rape run the along the same deep dark path of general terribleness.

But this is a personal opinion. It is also a personal opinion that any form of ‘clitoral excision’ or ‘infibulation’ IS mutilation, regardless of cultural practices.

In order to maintain my goal of not posting textbook pictures on this here said site (and because this drawn image makes me sad and squeamish), click here for a link to an anatomy lesson on what excision and infibulation are.

A neutral quote from a medical journal:

Many African women label this practice “genital mutilation,” believing “circumcision” to be deceptive. Other women do not consider their bodies mutilated and find the former term judgmental and inflammatory. We use the term “circumcision.” More neutral and more accurate terms now coming into use are traditional, or ritual female genital surgery.

Another, less medical (the person who wrote this posted on a TED talk by Eve Ensler, as ‘James Browne’ – you can take it for what it’s worth), but still interesting point found:

Many tribes in Africa who practice this rite do so as a form of sexual control it is true. It is done to control the sexuality and possible promiscuity of married women, protecting the husband’s life effort in supporting his wife’s children that he will never be 100% sure are his own. This is why some cultures go to such horrific lengths to control and prohibit female sexuality. However, there are tribes in Africa, where circumcision of women is a sacrifice, they loose what this tribe would describe as dangerous sexual urges and gain wisdom and the ability to lead. In this tribe women are equal or above men in their political status. So while I deplore this practise personally as an anthropologist I must try to view this ritual from outside my own cultural values and try to understand why such behaviours exist.

So, I give you this anonymous voice: take ‘mutilation’ or don’t. But here, in this bubble of lovin’, any non-consented removal of such a spectacular organ shall be seen, in my eyes, as ‘mutilation’.

3 thoughts on “People Be Hatin’ : Female “Circumcision”

  1. mutilation, n.

    […Etymology: < Anglo-Norman mutilacion, mutilation and Middle French, French mutilation the act of removing a limb or other part of the body (mid 13th cent. in Old French)…]

    [2.]
    a. More generally: the action of mutilating a person or animal; the severing or maiming of a limb or bodily organ; an instance of this. Also: the fact or condition of being mutilated or maimed.

    http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/view/Entry/124329?redirectedFrom=mutilation#eid

  2. To paraphrase Sam Harris,
    “If one man held down a terrified young girl and sliced her clitoris off with a blade, leaving her sexually crippled for the rest of her life, the only question among the rest of the world is how severely to punish that person. When millions do it, it is called “culture” and becomes a defensible practice.”

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